Numerous can't recover from widest of starts PREAKNESS 1994

May 22, 1994|By Arthur Hirsch and Peter Schmuck

For a demonstration of the hazards of the outside position, watch a tape of the 119th Preakness, said Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham.

His horse, Numerous, broke from the gate yesterday with a sharp move to the right and never got back into the race.

"That's why no horse ever won on the outside yet in 100 years," said Whittingham. "He ducked out, he broke to the outside. . . . He started practically on the turn."

Whittingham said it appeared Numerous "didn't get settled in the gate" before the race began. "They were confused."

That left jockey Patrick Valenzuela to try to close an early 10-length gap. He fought back to make a respectable finish, but that was small consolation to Valenzuela and Whittingham.

"He ducked right out," Valenzuela said. "I think I was real lucky to stay on. Charlie said he had never started on the outside like that. By the time I got him rolling, he was 10 lengths out of it.

"We had planned to be about five lengths off the leaders, but this was ridiculous. It was strange for a horse to duck out like that. I don't know what caused it."

Whittingham said that once Numerous got going, he ran a good race, but could not recover from that first move.

"You can't make a right turn and win the race," said Whittingham. "Another day."

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